Take Five (Did You Hear His Middle Name's Hussein edition)

ONE: Q – What’s the difference between the Republican Party and a flat earth society? A – It’s a trick question. There is no difference.

With a second Obama term looking more and more assured, Republicans across the nation are hurrying to make complete dicks of themselves about it, blathering shrilly about everything from the ascendancy of an Obama-nurtured caliphate, to fraudulent electronic birth and Selective Service records, to everybody’s guns being confiscated, to conservatives being thrown into FEMA concentration camps, to Michelle Obama destroying America’s youth with healthy food, to Stalinist death panels for granny, to [insert dimwitted, hysterical conspiracy theory here].

In other words, all the same stale crap we’ve been hearing for four years, just louder and more urgent than usual.

Take Alabama Republican Party chair Bill Armistead, for example. Armistead, eager to avoid talking about, you know, policy and stuff, put on his film critic hat for a gathering of the Eastern Shore Republican Women last week:

Armistead suggested that audience members see the movie ’2016: Obama’s America,’ a documentary by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza that is critical of the president.

“If you haven’t seen it, you should,” he said. “But I’m going to tell you about another movie. The name of it is ‘Dreams From My Real Father.’ That is absolutely frightening. I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”

The movie… claims that Obama’s real father is Frank Marshall Davis, an American labor activist and organizer for the Communist Party USA.

Understandably, Armistead didn’t detail how he went about his verification. In the courtly Deep South, it’s still considered bad manners to mention rummaging around in your own ass to a roomful of ladies, especially Republican ones.

While Armistead dips a toe into irrationality, David Howard, a Republican member of the Montana Legislature, is pretty near up to his uvula in it. Kudos to Don Pogreba’s superb blog Intelligent Discontent for shining a cold light on Howard’s Monday Facebook post:

If we lose this election the Secular Socialist Democrats will place two more secular anti-American Justices on the Supreme Court and kill America from within…

This could force American Patriots into a Civil war to regain our freedoms. Where we won’t be able to worry about being offended by what some people in a political party do or don’t do!

Yeah, don’t you just hate it when that happens? And if an impending Civil War doesn’t scare you, no problem. Howard, who calls himself a “principled conservative,” has plenty more kindling to set his hair – and, he no doubt hopes, yours – on fire. It’s a veritable Bonfire of the Inanities. Herewith, some verbatim excerpts from his recent posts:

September 12:

In the Islamic world, if you are not Muslim, and if they don’t fear you, they can justify killing you through their Religion of Hate!

They killed our Ambassador because they don’t respect or fear America. The reason, we have a bend over President, who hates Americas imposing excellence and wants America to be a weak secondary Country.

Obama’s intolerance for America’s excellence is weakening America, and has enabled the hate monger Muslims to kill our Ambassador.

We live in a dangerous world, an eye, for an eye world. Therefore, we have to be both the most benevolent Country but when attacked, we have to be the Country that will take no shit off of anyone.

September 14:

Planned Parenthood should be called Planned Infanticide! This is the culture of death, supported by the secular socialist Democrats, run by President Obama!

September 19:

The Press is the marketing arm of the secular socialist democRATs. The SSD’s

September 22:

The definition of Madness is Extreme folly! That describes the Obama’s “Sorry they had to kill Americans ad on Pakistani television”. I would call it an anti-American Insanity!

September 23:

The question begs to be asked, are Christian Pastor’s today speaking Christ’s truth in the Public Square or have they played into the hands of Satan and rationalized themselves into committing the sin of silence that God warned Ezekiel against…

Yes pastor’s do your God given duty: Speak the truth from the pulpit.

September 26:

This morning the Muslim Brotherhood warned the United States that if the United States continued meddling in Egypt , Libya , and other potential hot spots in the Middle East, they intend to cut off America’s supply of 7-11 and Motel 6 managers. If this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by Dell, AT&T and AOL customer service reps.

Finally, if all else fails, they have threatened not to send us anymore presidents either. It’s gonna get ugly, people

September 26:

MONTANA’S GOVERNMENT IS LIKE A KILLERING AND EATING IT’S HARD WORKING CITIZENS!

You don’t even want to know what some of the comments on these posts are like, although you can probably guess. Howard has all kinds of support in Stillwater County and in the broader wrongosphere, people who actually cheer for his loathsome opinions and revolting bigotry. Pogreba somberly notes that Howard is:

… a leader of the Stillwater County Republicans, and the Chair of the House Human Services Committee. He’s also a member of the Judiciary, Agriculture, and Ethics Committee.

TWO: Hungry for Knowledge

David Howard wasn’t the only politician active on Facebook recently. Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix was too, and deserves great praise:

This week I’ll join staff and board members from the Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA), the Valley of the Sun United Way and others in the community in the weeklong SNAP Experience when we’ll limit total food purchases to the weekly budget of a typical SNAP participant:  $4.16 a day.  That’s about $29 a week for one person and $97 a week for a family of four…

I’ll be adding to this post daily with a diary entry of my experience…

Day 1

In thinking about this exercise, I did some homework.  In July of this year, there were 1.1 million Arizonans on SNAP, about twice as many as there were before the downturn in 2007… 1 in 4 Arizona kids are food insecure, and 1 in 5 households in Arizona struggled to put food on the table last year. The Phoenix metro area is ranked the 34th worst, in terms of hunger- out of the 100 largest metro areas.  We’ve got a lot of families fighting to get by here…

Day 3

I wonder how folks with health problems get by on SNAP.  An individual with diabetes has got to stay away from too many simple carbs, and have protein at every meal to maintain level blood sugar.  By far the cheapest food items are potatoes, noodles, tortillas and white bread…

Day 5

Identifying, in a concrete way, with struggling families is an important exercise for any leader. By walking in the shoes of those who depend on the SNAP program, I certainly feel like I’ve gained critical perspective as a policymaker.  From a broader perspective, I’m starting to think about all the other challenges families on food stamps (SNAP) must face at the same time they are stretching their food benefit. Census data in 2010 showed Arizona had the second highest poverty rate in the nation with 21.2% of its citizens living in poverty. The national figure was 14.3 percent. We’ve improved since then, but we’re still in the 10-poorest states category.  Worse, women raising children alone here aren’t doing well.  More than 45% of mothers raising children by themselves are in poverty…

Stanton, you won’t be surprised to learn, is a Democrat, and despite the tough times Democrats have been experiencing in Arizona for, well, forever, I’m sensing that the tide could finally be turning. The Obama campaign might be thinking the same thing:

Signaling confidence, Obama’s team is considering competing in Arizona.

Obama looked at competing in Arizona in 2008, but decided against it because of the support there for home state Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee. Obama still won 45 percent of the vote.

This year, Obama’s team talked early on about running in Arizona, which offers 11 electoral votes, but it never did. Now, with an internal Democratic poll showing Obama narrowly leading Romney, Obama’s team might make a play for the state that has seen a 160,000 increase in voter registrations by Democratic-leaning Hispanics over the past four years.

THREE: Not Lovin’ It

I don’t mind admitting that the plastic-headed Burger King from the Burger King commercials always scared the hell out of me, and the fast food chain’s decision last year to retire the character was a great relief. Imagine my horror, then, when I learned that the polyethylene potentate has been spotted again, skulking around Rome, Georgia:

Police were called to a local McDonald’s in relation to a disturbance caused by a man dressed as the Burger King…

Police stated that, upon his arrival, the Burger King mascot reportedly began to hand out free hamburgers to customers, and stopped to take pictures with several children.

Officers were additionally told that one child ran away from the man in fear…

I sympathize, kid. So just what prompted the maleficent monarch’s appearance at the Golden Arches? Old scores to be settled? Territorial conquest? Hatred of clowns? Apparently none of the above:

The McDonald’s manager told authorities she had approached the unidentified man before calling police. When asked what he was doing, the man allegedly told the manager he was collecting money for charity…

Before leaving in his white Acura, the man removed his mask in view of the manager, the paper learned. She then described him as a white, middle-aged man with dark hair, according to the report.

That wasn’t the only peculiar incident in what was a non-banner week for McDonald’s. A patron in Oregon took the “problem customer” archetype to a whole new, scary level:

A Gresham man was arrested Sunday afternoon after allegedly throwing soda in a McDonald’s manager’s face and smashing a cash register after a dispute over onions on his quarter pounder burger…

According to Gresham Police reports, [Jayme John] Leon went to the McDonald’s at 2231 N.E. 181st Ave. late Sunday afternoon and ordered a quarter pounder without onions, then left the restaurant. When he got home he said he found onions on the burger. He called McDonald’s, where an employee said the restaurant would refund his money and give him a new burger.

However, when he arrived at the McDonald’s at 4:48 p.m., he didn’t have the burger, only the drink he ordered.

“Since he ate the quarter pounder, McDonald’s would not refund his money, sending Mr. Leon into a McFury,” said Sgt. Claudio Grandjean, Gresham Police spokesman.

Sarge, if your law enforcement gig doesn’t work out, you might think about a career in McMarketing. The Jayme John Leons out there need to be brought back into the fold somehow, lest they end up at Burger King or, worse, having Burger King come to them. Continue reading Take Five (Did You Hear His Middle Name’s Hussein edition)

Take Five (Aw, Shut Up edition)

ONE: Family Circus of Horrors

Among the persistent annoyances of modern life, like “smart” phones, white kids desperate to make the world think they just came straight outta Compton, and those infuriating micro-commercials that have started to crop up between batters in televised ballgames, one stands out as especially irksome. His name is Dick Cheney.

Everybody’s favorite scabrous, loathsome heap of lurid hell-spawn crawled out of the anus of Satan into the daylight last Tuesday (which, not at all incidentally, was September the 11th) to vomit forth a few sulfurous lies about the President before disappearing back up the Great Deceiver’s bunghole.

Actually, it was a little less dramatic than that. The retired war criminal simply had a spokesperson send an e-mail on his behalf to Tucker Carlson’s scurrilous website The Daily Caller, in which Cheney fulminated:

“If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden…

“Those who deserve the credit are the men and women in our military and intelligence communities who worked for many years to track him down. They are the ones who deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.”

The dusty old vampire obviously based this bogus accusation on a recent Washington Post screed by noted imbecile and former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, wherein the President was accused of “skipping more than half of his daily intelligence meetings.” (A day after Thiessen’s tripe ran, Jonathan Capehart, with reference to an earlier Post piece by Walter Pincus, calmly and thoroughly debunked it.)

Since President Obama has never made any effort to take “sole credit” for the killing of Osama bin Laden, it was difficult at first to understand why Cheney was so vigorously trash-talking him all of a sudden. Things became much clearer when I read Kurt Eichenwald’s New York Times article about the Bush Misadministration’s repeated failure to act on clear warnings throughout 2001 of an imminent terrorist attack. Turns out there was a hell of a lot more than just that infamous August 6th PDB that Cheney and friends turned a blind eye to. Imagine that. Better, then, to distract, deflect, and denounce Barack Obama rather than concede the obvious, which is that Cheney’s entire career in nominal public service has been obsessively devoted to damaging the nation he nominally served, along with as many others as expedience dictated.

For good measure, the bilious old fossil’s eldest daughter Liz weighed in with her own bullshit-based anti-Obama jeremiad in the benighted pages of the Wall Street Journal just a couple of days later. Its fifteen scandalously stupid paragraphs imply that the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya were “the logical outcome of three-and-a-half years of Obama foreign policy,” and proffer the usual stale accusations of “apology” and “appeasement” and “rushing for the exits” in Iraq and Afghanistan and “leaking intelligence” and “slashing our military” and a whole bunch more aggressively offensive calumny and cant.

By the way, if you’re wondering what Ms. Cheney is doing with herself after serving as a wholly unqualified Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs back during daddy’s crime syndicate days, she’s chairing an organization called Keep America Safe, which also counts famed neocon nincompoop William Kristol as a board member. Feel the safety, America!

TWO: Starstruck

Republicans sure do love celebrities, except for all those really famous and talented ones who are Democrats, of course. And there’s nothing like an upcoming election to compel the Z-list, like freeze-dried action star Chuck Norris and clownish family embarrassment Hank Williams Jr., to add their voices to the national conversation.

Norris kicked off September bin Laden-style, with a video. With help from his granddaughter – sorry, wife, Gena, Norris wastes 2:15 of his and the viewer’s time, confiding earnestly:

“We know you love your family and your freedom as much as Gena and I do, and it is because of that we can no longer sit quietly or stand on the sidelines and watch our country go the way of socialism or something much worse.”

Gena urges us to register to vote. Chuck quotes Edmund Burke and Ronald Reagan. Gena ups the Reagan ante with that storied bit of Gipperspeak featuring, in the space of three portentous sentences, the clichés “rendezvous with destiny,” “last, best hope of man,” and “a thousand years of darkness.” The video was shot in what appears to be the cloakroom at a Klan meeting, albeit with the radiant light of God’s love, or maybe just the sun, streaming through an open doorway behind them. Old Glory stands watch over their left shoulders, presumably in case Obama and his fellow socialists try anything funny while the camera rolls, though we all know that Chuck would stop them in their tracks if they did.

The intent, as Gena makes clear elsewhere in the video, is to rouse evangelicals to get off their asses and vote out the President this November. Mitt Romney, a man many of those recalcitrant evangelicals consider a devil-worshipping cultist, is not mentioned.

Pretty thin soup, Mr. and Mrs. Norris. Next time, take a cue from Hank Williams Jr., who never lets his brain get between his mouth and a microphone. Williams enthralled a crowd at Fort Worth’s Stockyards Music Festival with an impromptu rant about, you guessed it, Barack Obama:

“We’ve got a Muslim for a President who hates cowboys, hates cowgirls, hates fishing, hates farming, loves gays, and we hate him!”

What’s next for Williams? I have no idea, but if it turns out to be recording an “unplugged” set on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, I for one won’t be shocked.

Barack Obama still has friends, though. One of them, the Most Interesting Man in the World, is hosting a fundraiser for the Obama campaign tomorrow.

THREE: Secession from Reality Narrowly Averted in Kansas

After all the ridicule, scorn and opprobrium directed at Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett over his brief public flirtation with birtherism in May, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach must have scratched his head and wondered: Hey, how do I get me some of that?

Courtesy of a guy named Joe Montgomery, Kobach’s wish has come true. The Secretary of State, a – surprise! – Republican, along with fellow State Objections Board members Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, also – surprise! – Republicans, did Kansas proud on Thursday by deciding to request copies of the President’s birth records from Hawaii. Leaving no stone unturned, they also sent requests for information to Arizona for that state’s investigation results, to Mississippi for some birther litigation documents, and announced that they would defer a decision on whether to strike Barack Obama from the state’s ballot this fall until they had a chance to examine the requested documentation.

Montgomery, who works at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, said Obama hadn’t provided valid documentary evidence to establish his birth in the United States.

In Montgomery’s written complaint, he declared “there is substantial evidence showing that much of Mr. Obama’s alleged birth certificates have been forged or doctored, and have not been confirmed as legally valid, true and accurate.”

Kobach, who is also – surprise! – an adviser to the Romney campaign, commented:

“I don’t think it’s a frivolous objection… I do think the factual record could be supplemented.”

The day after this momentous announcement, Montgomery had second “thoughts”:

The Manhattan Republican who posed a formal challenge to President Barack Obama’s place on the Kansas general election ballot Friday requested immediate withdrawal of the appeal due to an avalanche of criticism…

“There has been a great deal of animosity and intimidation directed not only at me, but at people around me,” Montgomery said in the formal request to Secretary of State Kris Kobach. ”I don’t wish to burden anyone with more of this negative reaction.”

Poor guy. Just what does a delusional closet racist have to do to get some respect these days? The board announced this morning that the Hawaii documents were found satisfactory and that Barack Obama will remain on this November’s ballot. Sounds pretty cut and dried, right? Wrong: Continue reading Take Five (Aw, Shut Up edition)

To Rick (Google for more info) Santorum

Dear Lil’ Ricky:

Well, I see I am still on your e-mail list, Ricky. And as long as you are going to continue spewing your nonsense into my inbox, I am going to continue to respond.

Your latest missive is what I have come to expect; a combination of fact-free rhetoric based on RW talking points and a sputtering display of verbal ineptitude.

“The incidents in Cairo and Benghazi are tragic. As we continue to learn more details, we must look to the immediate future and ask ourselves what does America stand for, and how will we stand for it?”

Your piss-poor grammar aside (something we’ve grown used to from Republicans), perhaps you should have cautioned your candidate, Mr. Romney, about the wisdom of learning more details before opening one’s mouth. But that’s all blood under the bridge now, and your chosen standard-bearer is learning that lesson the hard way.

As for what America stands for and how will we stand for it – sorry, but could you get someone with some grasp of the language to explain exactly what that means, and get back to me?

“We must stand strong and make it abundantly clear that if you attack American people or property, you will pay the price. This reality needs to be unequivocal in the minds of potential adversaries and enemies prior to acts of violence.”

How unequivocal was this stance during the Bush/Cheney administration? It would seem they failed to make it abundantly clear that attacking American people or property would be harshly dealt with, prior to the ultimate act of violence on September 11, 2001. After the fact, those who “paid the price” were the people of Iraq – who had nothing to do with that event – along with the troops who were wounded or killed on the basis of WMDs that never existed, and the taxpayers whose money found its way into the pockets of war profiteers like Halliburton, or was simply disappeared into thin air.

Do you remember, even vaguely, Dubya’s “dead or alive” speech re Osama Bin Laden – the one quickly followed by his “I don’t think about him much because he’s not important” remark? I remember it quite vividly.

As much as you might choke on the fact of the matter, Ricky, it was the Obama administration that took out Bin Laden. It was Obama who exacted the price to be paid, something your boys couldn’t accomplish – and, more to the point, showed no interest in accomplishing once their goal of invading Iraq had been realized.

Of course, we are now all abundantly aware of the many, many warnings the Bush administration was given with respect to an imminent attack on US soil – warnings that were ignored. Was this part of that “standing strong” against our enemies strategy, looking the other way while the gathered intelligence was dismissed out-of-hand by a drunken idiot and his war-mongering VP?

But here’s the money shot, Ricky:

“We must show that America will not tolerate an ideology and a threat that oppresses women and minorities, opposes freedom of conscience and religion, and aggressively promotes violent Jihadism to spread its power. “

Not to put too fine a point on it, but just where the fuck do you get off? Continue reading To Rick (Google for more info) Santorum

Sunday Talks, 6/17/12

Mitt Romney headlines this Sunday’s television talk shows, doing a rare interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Host Bob Schieffer said midweek he was heading out on the campaign trail to catch up with the presumed Republican . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 6/17/12

Slouching Towards Tampa (A Candidacy to Remember edition)

One hundred years ago today, the RMS Titanic slipped into the North Atlantic, taking with it more than 1,500 lives; five days ago today, Rick Santorum went to Gettysburg and suspended his presidential candidacy. Except for the majestic luxury liner, terrible casualties and historic milestone stuff, the two tragedies are virtually indistinguishable.

So what was Rick Santorum’s iceberg? That’s tough to say, because there are so many possibilities. I’m leaning to a campaign appearance in Fairfield, California back on March 29, myself. A Los Angeles Times headline about the event is a cheery highlight of the election season so far: “Rick Santorum invokes Ronald Reagan at Jelly Belly factory in California.”

At the time, Santorum had racked up a number of primary wins, some of them almost surprising if one discounts the depth of “Anyone but Romney” sentiment (which, of course, one can’t). At least part of the GOP “intelligentsia” must have realized that Santorum should be treated seriously. He was certainly being treated seriously by the Romney campaign, meaning that they were delighted to spend, well, titanic amounts of money attacking him. At some point in one of the debates, Santorum even fielded two questions in a row on geopolitics, and answered both with shockingly nuanced calls to moderation.

Rick Santorum had arrived nationally, in other words. So what did he do? He started gnawing off his own newfound prestige like a critter caught in a leg trap:

“Let them know, conservatives all across this country have not given up the fight, we’re not going to concede to the moderate establishment who wants to convince everybody that it’s over, it’s time to go away…”

If you’re unaware of the Republican moderate establishment, they were last seen headed for the exits following the Dole campaign in ’96, but Santorum obviously doesn’t know that.

“They’re asking you, people of principle, to compromise your principles and to be for someone who is less corely convicted than Ronald Reagan because we need to win. My question is, ‘Win what?’ Every time we run someone that the moderate establishment of the Republican Party said we need to win, we lose. Why? Because Americans don’t have a clear choice. They don’t have a vision for someone who actually believes and who dramatically, decisively lays out a vision for the American people to inspire and lift up and get people, like Reagan did, to believe in themselves.”

It’s hard to even imagine a more “corely convicted” politician than Rick Santorum. I admit I don’t fully understand what “corely convicted” even means, but it surely has a Santorian ring to it.

The speech foreshadowed both his eventual withdrawal from the race and his determination to remain an outsider (or maverick, if you will). It was also noteworthy that Santorum used the words “Reagan” and “stool” in the same sentence:

“We as conservatives need to stand up and fight for a candidate who can win this general election, who stands solidly, firmly on the ‘three-legged stool’ that brought the Reagan coalition together.”

He returned to this theme in his concession speech on April 10. Or at least I think he did; Newsmax’s transcript is pretty dodgy:

And laying out not a thee-legged [sic] stool of Ronald Reagan but a four-legged tool [sic] with the Constitution being one of those vitally important legs that we had forgotten about.

He’s right; you can’t be too careful laying out a stool, and no good could ever come from forgetting about vitally important legs. Continue reading Slouching Towards Tampa (A Candidacy to Remember edition)

TO: Rick 'Down-in-Flames, Bwahahaha!' Santorum

Ricky:

For some reason, I wound up on your mailing list – perhaps placed there by someone with a cruel sense of humor.   In any event, I feel compelled to comment on your latest email because – well, because you might just learn something.

“Thank you for your support, for your encouragement, and for your prayers for our family, especially Bella.”

You know, Rick, I participate on a lot of Democratic websites. Despite the fact that many of us despise you and your party, what I have seen over the past week is an incredible outpouring of prayers and positive thoughts for Bella.  That’s because I belong to a party that puts politics aside when it comes to a sick child; you belong to a party that doesn’t care about sick children at all, unless it’s one of your own.

I cannot help but wonder what kind of man, faced with the enormous financial burden of providing the best of care for a sickly child, has consistently failed to demonstrate an iota of empathy for fellow citizens who face that same burden – but without the financial resources your family has access to. That lack of empathy is only one of the many reasons I would never support you, or anyone like you.

For all of your alleged devotion to your Christian faith, you have not once raised your voice in support of a healthcare system that would allow parents of children like Bella to care for their child without facing bankruptcy as a result – or worse, having to watch their child suffer and die for lack of the necessary funds to keep her comfortable and safe.

And, as usual, your hypocrisy knows no bounds. You recently had the gall to dismiss your paltry annual charitable donations as being due to the cost to your family of caring for Bella – despite the fact that the tax years in question were well before she was ever born.

“Since I first ran for Congress in a Democrat-majority district in Pittsburgh, I have fought for struggling families. I have fought for the unborn.”

Yes, Rick, you and your party invariably tout your noble “fight for the unborn.” It is the already-born that you have no interest in. You believe that women should bring children into this world despite the circumstances – risk to the mother’s health, rape, incest, etc. And yet once that child comes into the world, you relinquish all responsibility and label parents who are forced to rely on social assistance as “welfare queens,” a drain on society, and undeserving usurpers of your precious tax dollars.

“We believe America is the land of opportunity, and decided to do what we can to protect the hope that our forefathers sacrificed to give us a future for our children. A future of freedom secured through our sacrifices today.”

What you really believe in, Rick, is that the “land of opportunity” belongs to the wealthy, that healthcare belongs to those who can afford it, that those who share your religion are somehow above those who practice a different faith, and that your alleged Christianity should be used to belittle anyone whose life’s choices you have deemed to be unacceptable.

“(My family) have sacrificed almost everything we have to ensure that this hope and dream is not lost with another four years under Barack Obama.”

Really, Rick? Almost everything? Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing any photos of you and your family living in a van down by the river, having sacrificed almost everything in your fight to keep the American Dream alive and well. As for that dream being lost under the Obama administration, let me tell you that for millions of Americans, long-held dreams are finally being realized: the dream of gays and lesbians finally free to serve their country in the military without fear of being discharged on the basis of who they love, the dream of affordable healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions who insurance companies were once free to leave by the wayside, the dream of finding a job after years of unemployment, the dream of our veterans being given a helping hand after their noble service, the dream of having a president who is respected internationally, rather than being an embarrassment to the nation every time he opens his mouth.

The dreams yet to be realized for millions of Americans are many. But those dreams are not only valued by Democrats; they are being nurtured by the efforts of those of us who refuse to allow corporate greed, prejudice, inequality among citizens, and political hypocrisy to flourish.

While you and yours decry the loss of the American Dream, you continue to do everything in your power to make that dream unattainable for the very people you pretend to represent. And rest assured the irony of any Republican promoting the idea of the American Dream is not lost on the millions of citizens who lived through the nightmare of the George W. Bush administration – the debt, the war dead, the use of torture, the utter decay – a nightmare unwaveringly supported by your party. Continue reading TO: Rick ‘Down-in-Flames, Bwahahaha!’ Santorum

Slouching Towards Tampa (¿Habla Jackass? edition)

Rick Santorum has a BA, an MBA, a law degree, and served two terms in the House and two in the Senate. He also has all the common sense of a summer squash and seems not to know anything about the laws of the country he thinks he should govern.

Campaigning ahead of the March 18 primary, Santorum advised the 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico to ix-nay the anish-Spay if they want statehood for their archipelago.

His reasoning, such as it was, was this:

“Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law, and that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language.”

That might be so in Santorum’s theocratic, repressive, regressive and wholly imaginary version of the United States, but the real world United States demands no such thing. Not yet, anyway. And what Santorum would probably consider a surprising number of Puerto Ricans know this, and were righteously peeved by his comments. Thus Santorum sweatily tried to clarify his position the next day, but only managed to convey his apparent belief that Puerto Rico is a country:

“I think English and Spanish – obviously Spanish is going to be spoken here on the island – but this needs to be a bilingual country [sic], not just a Spanish-speaking country [sic], and right now it is overwhelmingly just Spanish-speaking,” he told reporters.

Uh-oh. But wait! Campaign team to the rescue:

A representative of the Santorum campaign, J. Hogan Gidley, said late Thursday that “Rick is an advocate of making English our official language — just like 90% of Americans. He knows there’s no current federal law in place — but what he was talking about — is that once English is made the official language — obviously all states would need to comply.”

Oh, so that’s what he meant! Well, J. Hogan, if he perseveres, maybe Santorum’s own English skills will eventually improve to the point where he can be understood without your help, but I’m not optimistic.

With Santorum having wedged both his feet firmly in his mouth, Mitt Romney managed to keep his own yap shut about eating cheesy arroz con gandules or learning to say “¡Socio!” just long enough to win the primary, with 83% of the vote over Santorum’s second-place 8%. By the way, the District of Columbia primary is a couple of days away and if you’re dreading hearing what Santorum intends to tell DC residents about their path to statehood, don’t worry. He isn’t even on the DC ballot.

After his escape from Puerto Rico, Santorum might have believed that Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois would be a nice, non-threatening suburban venue for his next campaign appearance. But it was not to be:

Two men who kissed one another were kicked out of presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s rally Friday evening…

Santorum was 15 minutes into his speech when the two men shouted and got the attention of the crowd. They exchanged a kiss, prompting guards to eject them and the crowd to chant “U-S-A” while they were leaving the gym.

I remember the damnedest things prompting “U-S-A” chants during the 2008 Republican Convention, for example, and similarly weird instances elsewhere, but this one just beats the hell out of me. In any event, Santorum’s speech was every bit as absurd as the behavior of the crowd:

“We need a president who understands that America is the greatest country in the history of the world and what we’ve done across this country, across this world, it’s not oppress, it’s not invade, we are not invaders, we are not people that seek gain of territory, oil, property. What we seek is security for ourselves and liberty and prosperity for others and it’s nothing to apologize for.”

A Gallup poll taken a couple of weeks back suggests that Santorum might want to apologize to the roughly two-thirds of Republican voters who just aren’t turned on by his candidacy:

A little more than one-third of Republicans say they would vote “enthusiastically” for either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum if either candidate were to win their party’s nomination for president… This level of enthusiasm is similar to Republicans’ feelings about voting for Romney in early 2008, but lower than the enthusiasm level for that year’s eventual GOP nominee, John McCain…

Whether or not such findings have influenced the increasingly heated rhetoric between the Romney and Santorum campaigns, it’s a gas to watch them heave insults and innuendo at one other.

Last weekend, Santorum told a Wisconsin audience to beware his rival:

“Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama,” Santorum said at an evening rally near Racine.

Santorum later tried to clarify that he was talking only about Romney’s ability to campaign against the national health care law championed by Obama and the Democrats.

“Tried to clarify” in this case is shorthand for flying off the handle when Jeff Zeleny, a reporter for the New York Times, pressed Santorum on his characterization of Romney:

“What speech did you listen to? Stop lying! I said he is the worst Republican to run on the issue of Obamacare. And that’s what I’m talking about. I said uniquely for every speech I give, I’ve said he’s uniquely disqualified to run against Barack Obama on the issue of healthcare. Would you guys quit distorting what I said?”

Santorum added: “Quit distorting my words. If I see it, it’s bullshit! Come on man, what are you doing?”

The candidate later unveiled his new GOP litmus test on Fox News:

“If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republicans is the way I look at it.”

Yet, sensing that Bullshitgate might get out of hand at a crucial point in the primary race, Santorum went out of his way to be conciliatory a day later in a CBN appearance:

“Of course,” Santorum said, when asking whether he’d consider being Romney’s running mate.

This follows by several weeks Romney’s slightly more-than-implicit “of course not“:

Speaking on Fox Business Network, Romney was asked, if he won the GOP presidential nomination, whether he would pick a running mate more conservative than him on the economy.

“Well, that would preclude Rick Santorum,” Romney responded. “I find it interesting that he continues to describe himself as the real conservative. Rick Santorum is not a person who is an economic conservative to my right. His record does not suggest he has the fiscal conservative chops that I have.”

Which is a small point in Santorum’s favor, actually. Romney’s “fiscal conservative chops” have been front and center in the serial revelations about his La Jolla beachfront property. First it came to light that Romney is tearing down the 3,000-square-foot home on the plot and replacing it with a more Romney-appropriate house three to four times larger (depending on which news story one cites). Then detailed plans for the new house were revealed, showing that it will have: Continue reading Slouching Towards Tampa (¿Habla Jackass? edition)

Sunday Talks, 4/1/12

It’s the April Fool’s Day edition of Sunday Talks! However – no fooling! – Joe Biden is going to be on Face the Nation. Not to worry, though. There are still plenty of fools hitting the Sunday . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 4/1/12

Ricky, PLEASE Lose This Number

TO: Rick Santorum, Presidential Wannabe

Dear Ricky:

I just received an email from you and, given that it starts off with “Nance”, I’m assuming we’re now on a first-name basis.

I am still a bit perplexed as to (a) how you got my personal email address, and (b) why you would be sending your campaign literature to me, an until-death-us-do-part Democrat.

However, being as you took the time to contact me, I thought it appropriate to respond.

“Our campaign continues to pick up steam and generate press. In just the past four days, we won the Louisiana primary, received national attention for calling out the New York Times, and received kind words of support from Governor Sarah Palin.”

Well, here’s the thing, Ricky, right off the top:  generating press can be a real positive for a candidate hoping to win his party’s nomination for the presidency.  However, since most of the press coverage I’ve seen is due to your inane remarks, your abject stupidity, your total non-grasp of the issues, and your blatant hypocrisy, I wouldn’t exactly put that coverage in the plus column.

That being said, I especially appreciated the publicity you, the holier-than-thou Christian boy, garnered by yelling “bullshit!” in response to a reporter’s query.  No doubt that went over really well with the Fundies you have been pandering to.

As for the support from Sarah Palin, here’s a word to the wise:  She’s a whackjob.  I wouldn’t go bragging about her support.  That kind of endorsement is something you want to keep under your sweater-vest – if you get my meaning.

“Mitt Romney and his liberal media machine would like nothing better than for us to go away.” 

Mitt Romney has a “liberal media machine”?  I’m not quite sure what that statement means – along with most of what you say about anything, to be perfectly frank.  Mitt Romney is in no way a liberal, and there is no such thing as the “liberal media” – so I’m a bit confused as to where you thought you were headed with that comment.  And I have a feeling you’re equally confused – well, you always look so confused, I just assume that you really are.

“But conservatives know we can win — and across the country they are calling, emailing, and telling us they want us to redouble our efforts.  You can help us do that — and reaffirm your support for the campaign – by making an online donation of $5, $25, $50, $100 or more right now.”

At this point, I have to ask:  If conservatives from all over the country know you can win, and are calling, emailing, and telling you they want you to redouble your efforts, why aren’t they putting their money where their mouths allegedly are?  It would seem that if you’re really the people’s choice, they’d be more than happy to cough up a few bucks.

“Today only, we are going to send all online donors a special token of our appreciation.  Donate $5 or more before midnight Eastern time, and we will send you a campaign bumpersticker via mail.”

Well, that’s a major disappointment.  Here I was ready to send you a million or two – kind of along the lines of a pity fuck – but the check won’t clear until tomorrow, so I guess I’m shit out of luck.  And I really wanted that bumpersticker, too.  My neighbors already think I’m nuts – I would have enjoyed confirming it for them.

“It’s time conservatives take a stand. We don’t need to accept what the mainstream media and establishment tell us to think.”

It’s not the mainstream media who are telling Republicans what to think, Ricky – it’s FOX News.  Maybe you should ask your party’s own propaganda network to give you a break, and extol your many virtues – oh, except they’re too busy telling everyone that Romney’s nomination is a done deal.   We all know what sheep Republican voters are; too bad the shepherds aren’t the least bit interested in what you have to say.

“I am convinced that whoever can activate grassroots conservatives will not only secure the nomination – but will have the honor of defeating Barack Obama in the fall.”

I don’t know what you’re smokin’, dude, but it’s obviously some primo shit.  At this point in the game, your party can’t even count on your conservative base.  Now that the GOP has pissed off women, union members, the unemployed, the college-educated, the disabled, veterans, and everyone who is benefiting from Obamacare, even your once loyal voters are dwindling down to a precious few. Continue reading Ricky, PLEASE Lose This Number

Sunday Talks, 3/25/12

The White House is in full campaign mode Sunday, with senior adviser David Plouffe hitting four of the five major network television talk shows.

Plouffe, who managed President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, stops by “Fox News Sunday,” . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 3/25/12